Track Blogs to Boost Search Marketing
Beal, who recently formed search marketing firm Fortune Interactive LLC, Raleigh, NC, presents his blog and search ideas during this week's eComXPO, a virtual trade show for e-commerce marketers.
"Bloggers tend to be on the leading edge of any industry. They spot new products and services [before others]," Beal told DM News.
Spotting product trends is particularly important for retailers preparing for the holiday shopping season, Beal said. They can choose better keywords related to the products that consumers are most interested in and tailor their other ad campaigns to those interests.
"If you tap into the blogosphere, you might find out that a certain digital camera, for example, is really hot right now, which will give you an idea of phrases you might want to include in your campaign," he said.
E-commerce firms can get ahead by buying search terms around hot products before others read about the new product or trend in print publications and other sources.
"Look at this as part of your overall marketing initiative," Beal said. "It will help you in e-mail marketing, in print, but in particular search. You're using one online medium to enhance another online medium."
Searching products and trends on blogs rather than on search engines also helps marketers be more forward-thinking. Keyword searches bring up all the past information on the term, while blogs cover current and future trends, Beal said. Also, marketers need to track what people are saying about their companies on blogs, whether it's praise or criticism.
"Even if you don't monitor for [new] products, you should monitor the reputation of your company," he said. "If someone makes a comment about my company, there is something I need to change in my next marketing campaign."
Though many marketers may not track blogs, Beal said that it is simple and less time consuming than people think. It also is an inexpensive form of research for smaller companies.
"It's the first time small companies can engage in market research without having to shell out money to a third-party firm to do that," he said.
Beal said the easiest way to start tracking trends on blogs is to visit a blog search engine such as Technorati or Bloglines. Type in the word or phrase related to your company or its products and services. Sort the results by relevance or date so you can see the most recent and important information that has been said about your company or services. Choose to be notified via RSS feed whenever new information on the product or service appears on blogs.
Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters